If you read about the mountains and the sea add them together and you have a unique way to travel to these wild places. Here are just a few of my memories.
Goatfell. My early memories are of the ferry to Arran and seeing for the first time the volcanic looking Goatfell on the journey across. It has always captivated me and even on my trip last year I was enthralled by the view. To me there is always something about the sea and the mountains, maybe as I lived in Ayr and could see the Arran hills most days it was clear. The excitement of being on a ferry or a boat was always part of my life.
Ben Lomond – was another mountain I loved and to get a boat across Loch Lomond away from the crowds was magical. We did this most southerly Munro by a local boat a few times it made the journey so much fun and have you new views of a popular mountain.
Ben Starav – from the Loch up the slabs was a route I had wanted to climb for years. A boat up Glen Etive takes you into a different world and you wonder how many come this way? The views down the Loch Etive overlooking the Etive Slabs on the opposite side of the Loch are breathtaking. It’s a grand way up onto this hill.
Knoydart – These hills have so many memories for me. From being taken over to Barrisdale by the late Tom Swanney from Arnisdale paying for it with an old climbing rope. A few call-outs as well in our own rib “Daz boat”big ascents from sea level and the views of the islands. Nowadays there are boats from Mallaig that will drop you at Loch Nevis where the world is your oyster.
Loch Mullardoch – Beinn Fionlaifh ( Glen Affric) a great way to climb this remote hill. The keeper runs trips up the Loch Mullardoch and these Lochs can be as wild as the sea if a wind blows up. It saves a big walk in as well. I have done several big days from here. We had our own rib that introduced us to some fantastic adventures.
Slioch – we did a few call-outs here relying on the local boat to save us huge walk outs. The keeper and the midges are days I will never forget. It also allowed you to climb on Sliochs buttress”s again few climb here. It also allowed us ascents of remote Corbetts like Beinn Lair.
Skye – Loch Coruisk – The Dubhs ridge was an early adventure by canoe in the 70’s a scary trip. After that there were so many more into the Dubhs ridge by our rib and the local boats from Elgol. Later on I was to sail round the West Coast staying the night on Loch Coruisk and climbing next day. There was something about seeing Skye from the sea. This to me is the finest expedition of its kind so many great memories of superb days, magic Gabro,various weather conditions. So many adventures and of course that majestic mountain overlooking Loch Coruisk.
Suilven – by canoe this grand hill can be ascended by canoe from Loch Veyatie. I did it once in a Canadian Canoe it was a great adventure.
The Islands – Rum always been a special place for me. Waiting for a huge lightning storm to pass then crossing from Skye at night seeing whales in the sea . When we arrived at night on night vision goggles a few locals thought we were special forces. What a place to be great mountains and as always they look so different from the sea.
Jura – The Paps of Jura impressive mountains great to take the little local ferry and climb the hills. We took bikes to get about after the hill just to see a bit more of the Island.
At times it’s so important to not just visit the hills but see and learn about the history of the Islands .
Harris – The Clisham is a mountain on Harris, on the island of Lewis and Harris in the Western Isles of Scotland. At 799 metres it is the highest mountain in the Outer Hebrides and the archipelago’s only Corbett.
“ I was near the summit enjoying the views when I saw a pair of Eagles soar above. The final ridge is grand and the trig point summit is a rounded domed cairn. Thus us where we met two folk from Arran another Island I love. Her we sat to have lunch and it was then I noticed I had left the sandwiches in the fridge. It did not spoil the day though Kalie was very understanding as was Islay with my incompetences.”
We had views of St Kilda looking like a lost world now there’s a place to go. I am off again in May.
Tips – Never rush on an Island and add an extra days if you can. It will be worth it. Take time to stand and stare.